Is It Really Worth Your Money?
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 could well be worth your money, especially if you have a lot of packages delivered to your home.
My son began purchasing more and more products from Amazon, so he decided it was time to install a video doorbell. He chose the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and purchased it from Costco.
When someone approaches his front door, he is alerted on his smart phone. He reviews the video on his phone, sees the delivery person with a package and immediately retrieves it. When he is not home, he contacts my wife who graciously goes to his home and safely secures the package or packages for him (we live nearby).
My wife and I decided to purchase a Ring 2 for ourselves. Prior to having the video doorbell, when the doorbell rang or we heard someone fidgeting with the front door handle (not a good sound, I’m sure you know), we had to get up, go to the door and look through the peephole. More times than not we didn’t see anyone. With the Ring Video Doorbell 2, this has all changed.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has a number of features.
- When the adjustable range motion sensors detect motion, the unit begins recording and sends an alert to your smart phone and interior chime device, if installed. You can watch the video on your smart phone in real time – well, there might be a few seconds delay.
- When the doorbell button is pressed, a separate notification and tone is sent to your phone and interior chime device.
- Whether you’re home or away, you can see on your phone if someone is at your door and, if desired, you can speak with the person.
- Infrared night vision provides clear images on your phone.
- On-demand Live View enables you to see and listen to activity taking place outside your front door (assuming the unit is mounted at the front door, of course).
- The unit reportedly works with Alexa, though I do not have or use Alexa.
- Alerts posted by neighbors inform you of undesirable or suspicious activity.
- A quick-release rechargeable battery is included if connection to your home’s doorbell is not available or feasible.
- The unit comes with lifetime theft protection.
Who It’s For
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is right for you if your home is easily accessible from the street or sidewalk. It is also right for you if you:
- are young, not so young, male, female;
- desire added peace of mind;
- want to be alerted when someone is approaching your door;
- don’t want to go to your door and look through the peephole;
- want to “answer” your door whether you’re home or away;
- shop online and receive a lot of packages at your door;
- want video of all activity near your door.
We are ordering more and more items online and want to be alerted when packages arrive. We also want to know when children are at our door. My wife and I always help them with their school or sports fundraisers.
Pricing and Purchasing Details
I purchased my Ring Video Doorbell 2 with Chime and 1-year video cloud recording for $189.99 from Costco (membership required). My son purchased his from Costco a month or so earlier for $159.99 but the unit did not come with the 1-year video cloud recording. He paid $30 extra through Ring’s online app.
Prices vary for Ring products, depending on which unit you buy and what is included with the unit. Some have the Chime, some have the Chime Pro. Some have only the video doorbell; the interior Chime or Chime Pro would need to be purchased separately.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is also available on Amazon. Be sure to understand which unit you are selecting and which options or device(s) come with it.
Perhaps what I like best about the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is that it detects motion before a person is close enough to press the doorbell button, and whether or not a person presses the doorbell button. I like knowing when someone is at my door even if it’s only to leave a business card.
Something I find interesting is that the mere presence of a Ring device seems to discourage solicitors. On the Neighbors feature in the Ring app, I often see posts where a probable solicitor approached the door, saw the Ring device, and turned and walked away.
My personal experience with the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is similar to the many online reviews I’ve seen:
- when I set the range distance to anything farther than five feet away from my front door, I receive motion alerts from large passing vehicles (my son lives on a cul-de-sac and does not experience this issue);
- on the Ring app, the Alerts Open Fullscreen Video option does not always function properly (phone sometimes shows a black screen);
- occasionally the Live View option shows to have trouble connecting to my Wi-Fi even when I’m home and have a good Wi-Fi connection;
- Ring’s Website claims a 6- to 12-month battery life per charge with normal usage; I’m not sure what “normal usage” is; my battery lasted about 30 days.
There are a number of video doorbell products on the market, and I’m sure we’ll see more as time goes on. Reliant has its own system, as do other home security companies. The home security companies I viewed require a log-in for requesting a quote.
Products you can install yourself for under $100 include:
- Ring Video Doorbell
- iseeBell Wi-Fi enabled HD Video Doorbell
- RemoBell Wi-Fi Doorbell
- Greet Smart Doorbell
Products you can install yourself for under $200 include:
- Ring Video Doorbell 2
- Skybell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell (pre-buffering feature)
- SmartCam D1 Wireless (face recognition)
- Laview Wireless Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell Pro sells for under $300 and requires an existing doorbell connection. Ring Video Doorbell Elite sells for under $500 and requires an Ethernet connection conducted by a professional (recommended). Both have the pre-buffering feature along with other additional features.
“Professional” reviews and customer reviews differ on some products. An example is the Skybell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell with the pre-buffering feature. As with any product, it seems there are always negative reviews. The video doorbells are no exception.
My Final Thoughts
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a quality product for any homeowner desiring to have added security and peace of mind. Installation and set-up are simple, and app functionality is easy to learn and use. No wiring is necessary if the battery is used.
Make sure you know your WiFi speed and whether or not it meets the required specifications. For example, the Chime Pro requires a minimum speed of 4 megabytes per second. Depending on the configuration of your home, you might need the Chime Pro to plug in near the front door to boost your WiFi signal to the outside doorbell unit.
I’ve encountered a few issues with the unit, but overall I’m happy with it.
Three factors influenced my decision to chose and purchase the Ring Video Doorbell 2:
- the battery option – the configuration of my front entry requires it. I eventually re-positioned my device so it is now hardwired to my home’s doorbell;
- the price – the extra features with the higher-end models did not convince me to pay the higher price;
- purchase location – I bought my unit at Costco, which gives me points back and has a liberal 30-day return policy.
Please consider helping others by sharing your experience(s) with any video doorbell product – why you’re glad you have one; why you decided to buy one; whether or not you’re happy with it; etc. If you do not have such a product, perhaps you’d like to share a situation where it would have been beneficial for you to have had one present.